A couple of snaps during recording sessions for the next single to be released, now in the mix phase. This may also be the last time we get to record at this studio, as the building is shutting down soon. It’s been a great place to write and record, but now it’s onwards to our next home, wherever that may be…
A friend reminded me that it’s been 15 years, since Ian left us for stratospheres unknown. There are a lot of dog-eared pages, in the Sistersound history book, and Ian’s chapter was a brief but precious one. There have also been a lot of changes to Sistersound.com over the years, so in remembering Ian, I’m re-indexing this post highlighting his unique personality and radiant spirit. May that spirit persist forever in the minds of those of us who knew and loved him. Below is the original post.
Photo by Troy Wilkinson
“I had just finished a 12 noon to 12 midnight shift at Busch Gardens. I mean, working 12 hours at another job was probably easy but I’m talking about serving people up, corn dogs and french fries at Pigs in a Kilt right next to the Lochness Monster. I had my piccolo snare drum, my Pearl bass drum pedal and pro-mark sticks in the car. What car you may ask? It was a surprisingly preserved Ford Tempo. How ironic of a name huh being that I’m a bam-bam myself with that whole tempo, rhythm, beat hotchpot goin on. I remember leaving Busch Gardens that night, my foots all sore from sustaining my weight for 12 hours. My shoes were sprinkled with little droplets of grease that had made their way to my shoes arbitrarily from working the fryer during high-tension periods when the customer line reached back towards the horse stables. There were horse stables right across from Pigs in a Kilt. Every once in a while, you could smell a little nuance of horse dung permeating the air. It smelled sorta like genetically engineered chaff. I drove up to Richmond.
I remember arriving in Richmond and thinking about the generation x poster that Yves had in his little apartment at that time. I think it was an apartment. We got our equipment and went to the practice space. I felt a sense of well being – a sense of belonging with Yves because me and him were like lost chandalas who fed off each other and sustained an equilibrium which just barely held. We practiced, slowly merging with each other as the major and the puppet master did in “ghost in the shell.” I felt as if Sistersound had been born within the sea of information. A self-aware, self-preserving program had been born. A life form with externalized memory independent of both me, Yves, and Pete. That life form was Sistersound. We practiced on into the night betraying the social standards of sleep because sleep is death and a levitical sacrifice must be made in order to bring up a new form from the dregs of a dying breed. I finally discovered my soul mates. Androgynous entities with seemingly emotionless intelligences possessing unprecedented superconsciousnesses. That is who I felt Sistersound was. The whole ancient Greek tragicomic dream had been fulfilled within my heart resting atop that sour, dingy building that we practiced in. And yet, I felt that the music which was being created there transcended boundaries of mediocrity. I finally felt whole. But like a one-night stand, I retired and bid my brothers farewell because I had to get home and get ready for work for the next day. It was about 6 a.m in the morning. Birds were chirping, perched on telephone cables as I drove out onto Broad Street right before exiting onto interstate 64.
I drove on down until I began to feel a lightness of being. I felt alive and on top for a minute. I was driving with the snare drum in my passenger seat as if my one true friend in this world were the drum set itself. But the fatigue of my body began to settle in and next thing you know, I was occasionally dozing off. But i had to get back home and get some rest. It would be unwise to just park on the side of the street and sleep. So I drove on. I passed into the left lane relaxed but at the same time dying to stay awake. The windows were all opened so that maybe the disturbance of the winds would irritate me sufficiently to raise my nervous system circulation rate to release an extra dose of epinephrine. But this was to no avail. When I had awakened for a split second as I was driving off the road, I regained consciousness enough to panic and react to the fact. I pulled the steering wheel too much to the right and ended up sending the car sliding out clockwise- if you were to observe this from an aerial view. After I was fully conscious of the fact that my car was pushing on, spinning and sliding from the 60 mph momentum that I had maintained 15 minutes outside of inner-city Richmond, I blacked out.
I wake up to the hissing sounds of spinning wheels, trees mangled, layed out, upside down, snare drum on the ground, without a scratch on it. The car was utterly destroyed way beyond repair. The only damages to the water sack of mine that I sustained was a little laceration to the back of my head which was consequently sewn back together – three stitches. But my arms and legs were intact ready to play another show.”
— Ian A. Kruske
The Secret of Ian’s Intuition
“I’ve recently had an opportunity to digitize this tape, which was given to me circa 1994. I am offering it to friends and family of Ian, in an attempt to preserve this record, and honor his memory and pure spirit. I’ve never known anyone who loved knowledge and the pursuit thereof more. Ian used to study the dictionary, taking notes and broadening his mind. He also read various philosophical texts, as you will hear. It’s great to listen and witness his youth and innocence, reading his very personal poetry for the recording. On the second side of the cassette, there is an impromptu demo of two Sistersound songs, Perception and I Fell Awake. Ian had wanted a demo to write his drum parts to, and you can hear him tapping out rhythms as I played the guitar. This interest in homework really demonstrates his willingness to work hard and his love for music. I had an opportunity to spend a lot of creative time with Ian, and we based our friendship around it. He was always quite faithful to me and Sistersound. Ian was a great drummer with talent and promise, as evidenced by the drum recordings on this tape. You’ll also hear some of his improvised guitar, which illustrates his experimentative nature and thirst for knowledge. The cassette ends with some really touching poetry of Ian’s own pen, in a candid and lucid moment. Ian cared deeply for his friends, music, and learning. He was a beautiful and talented young man, with a radiant mind. Please, enjoy this recording from my personal collection, and pass it on to those who knew Ian.”
Very fortunate to announce our first show of 2018 at our hometown haunt, Hemlock Tavern, with That Ship Has Sailed and Low Bote. The show starts at 8pm, Friday, January 5th, 2018. Help us ring in the new year and annihilate memories of 2017, in a wall of sound. Here’s to better days ahead.
The next show is Thursday, April 27th, 2017 at San Francisco’s renowned dive bar, Hemlock Tavern, with Bod (Seattle, WA), Sun Kin (Oakland, CA), and False Priest (San Francisco, CA). Cool poster design by Katie Levitt.
Next show is Tuesday, March 21st at El Rio, with The Grand Escape and The Mutilations. We haven’t performed at El Rio in a while, so we’re looking forward to that great backyard patio, cheap drinks, and warm and friendly vibes of the Mission.